Wednesday, April 14, 2010

He's Gone (Part One)

nnenn

I have Flickrmail pages of discussions that nnenn and I carried on. He convinced me to share my topics with the general Lego community on Flickr. Not because he did not enjoy our discussions, but because he feared that the topics were just too big for two people.

I was on hiatus from building for about three years (or more) and when I came back I was largely directionless. When I "discovered" nnenn's work, I decided very quickly that I was going to build like him. I did not want to build what he builds, I just wanted to figure out how he got the smooth shapes and great colors and, more importantly, how he was coming up with all of those unique designs.

nnenn was an awesome help. I tried not to be too clingy, but he was like a big brother to me.

Yeah, a 35 yr. old adult in need of a big brother. Hey, I've got some issues. An only child, only one person in "real life" that I consider a friend, not many people around me who can carry on an intelligent discussion with me...I found some sort of kinship with nnenn and I wanted to milk it for all I could...hopefully without choking the poor guy.

His community starfighter cockpit box was my opportunity to build simple things with some semblance of a plan. He did not steer me toward my month long build challenge, but he certainly had everything to do with it. With quips like these:

"The more you build, the better you get."

"The more often you build, the faster you get."

Better and faster? And all I had to do was copy his cockpit design once a day and add some wings and guns to it? I could do that...couldn't I?

And so I did it. And everything about design, Lego construction, and techniques changed for me almost overnight.

I'm still sloppy, but thanks to nnenn, I can only get better.

And now he's gone.

He'll never see the fruits of his labors bloom in the sun. His children will never know the effect he had on me. His wife will never understand why I shook and cried when I began reading through the announcement on The Brothers Brick.

There are precious few people in this world who have had a lasting influence on me: my grand mother who taught me to put puzzles together and took me on walks through the woods almongst ferns that were too tall for me to see over, my highschool English teacher (who was also my teacher for modern mythology and creative writing and also the head of the school magazine that I was a part of) who taught me to see details and to write what I know, and my youth pastor who was a father figure that taught me how to forgive and to accept people in spite of all their faults, and now nnenn, who taught me to disregard the acceptable rules in art and design, to produce as much garbage as you can as quickly as possible so that you can find the gems...

But, he's not here anymore.

I love ya, man, and I'm gonna miss ya.

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